Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Wedding, Houses, and Knitting of Course!

Hello my dear friends and new readers.  I hope you have had a good week.  I thought I would share a snapshot of what's been happening in my world.

My husband and I attended a wedding on Saturday.  It was a lovely celebration with the reception  held at a hotel on the beach.  We decided to take Uber to the wedding since finding parking in a beach town on the weekends is very difficult.  We've taken Uber before overseas but never in our own neighborhood.  It was really quite pleasant and luckily, my son-in-law showed me how to use the app.  Our driver was a retired management executive who decided to drive for Uber to make a little extra money now that he has lots of time on his hands.  In fact, he now trains new Uber drivers.  The cost was approximately $34; it was higher since it was during a peak time.  Our good friends insisted to take us home after the reception which was very kind of them. (I'm having them over for dinner next week to thank them for their generousity).   In the meantime, our daughter was texting us wanting to know if we arrived safely, etc.  She even texted me to see if our friends would be safe driving us home! I think the parental roles are being reserved now in our later years. . .

Yesterday my daughter called me rather in a panic since she heard a home was on fire in her street.  It turned out to be a home a couple of streets down from her street but still it was a scary situation.  A man had barricaded himself in this home and  had set the home on fire.  In fact, she couldn't get home since the SWAT team had set up a mobile station right in the middle of her street.  After a couple of hours the man surrendered.   From what we know, it looks like it was a domestic violence case that set up this scenario.  I feel bad for all the people involved.  The neighborhood has started  a fund to assist the woman and her two small children who have been displaced.  I'm glad that the fire didn't cause harm to the family or more damage to the surrounding area.

Speaking of homes, last week I told you I would have some news to share with you. We found a new home, agreed on the purchase price and signed the real estate purchase contract.  But, after sharing the news with our children, they had some concerns that apparently we had overlooked.  Long story short, we were able to cancel the purchase agreement.   The home had lots of great perks like a wonderful ocean view, totally renovated with a kitchen to die for, brick wall, and reclaimed barn wood flooring to name a few.  I could just see my gold Egyptian furniture and crystal chandelier against the ultra modern design.  But, it lacked a couple of vital things  that ended up being too critical to ignore.  Again, roll reversal happening with our children.  We initially thought that if we didn't like it, we could rent it out and return to our home which we had planned to keep and rent out.  But, luckily our children were watching over us.  Right now, we have decided that we will stay where we are and even though my husband absolutely hates taking care of the pool, we are happy to stay in our home. 

Above is a little house that is picture perfect in every day.  When my daughter and I went to our Mother's Day tea, we visited a fun garden store.  She saw some of these little fairy gardens and decided she would make one herself.  Since she collects wine crates, she had the perfect beginning to create this mystical garden.  She has a whole collection of these little cottages that she has collected since her youth.  I love the little itty bitty mushrooms.  My little grandson helped her and it was a fun project for the both of them.

I'll leave with you this saying that my daughter found for me.  I think it sums up my life perfectly :)  Lately, my knitting has been giving my anxiety (in a fun way, of course), and hopefully I'll soon share with you my Wild Poppies Shawl.  It seems as though I'm in a shawl knitting mode right now.  I recently joined  The Shawl Society #1 on Ravelry.  It looks like a fun adventure!  I still haven't found the perfect shawl for myself but maybe I soon will.  In the meantime, I will knit these shawls and do my own shawl ministry for those in need. 

It's a holiday weekend coming up, so have a wonderful, safe holiday and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.  We plan on staying close to home although we are invited to a bar-b-que to kick off the summer season!  Thank you again dear friends for visiting my blog.  You are my true friends!

With my best wishes,

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 For the photos, I wish to thank my daughter, Heidi of  Illuminated Luna 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tea and Politics

Do you like the title of this post?  Don't worry as I'm not intending to ruffle your feathers going into politics or religion or other taboo subjects.  But, I thought you might enjoy a bit of something different than my current knitting project (which by the way, is going well).

My dear daughter Heidi took me to tea recently in honor of Mother's Day.  We had a fabulous time at a little tea house near our homes.  Here's Heidi above trying on a lovely hat.  She's going to a wedding next summer in England and wants to wear a hat!  We had a wonderful afternoon of Mother/Daughter bonding.

The tea itself was delightful.  I chose the Queen Catherine blend of tea by Harney and Sons.  It was loose tea, my favorite vs teabags. And, the little tea sandwiches were amazing.  After our tea, we had a nice time perusing the surrounding shops and garden shops.  It was a most fun afternoon.

There's lots of beautiful jackaranda trees in the area where I live.  I read somewhere that the falling of these beautiful flowers is called purple snow.  My ballot for the California primary arrived in the mail this past week.  I thoroughly enjoyed filling it out and putting it in the mail.  I don't vote along a particular party line.  Is it just me, or did you feel that both Cruz and Rubio missed a vital chance to embrace the Hispanic vote?  Aren't they both fluent in Spanish?  I enjoyed the snippets Rubio shared of his Grandfather's life in Cuba.  It's too late now for both of them but their campaign strategies still puzzle me a bit.

Speaking of Spanish speaking, here's the article I read this morning.  Have you ever heard of anything so crazy; English only policy?  My family and I travel alot overseas and unfortunately, I only speak English.  I'm always amazed at the superb customer service I receive when someone speaks to me in English or offers me an English menu vs the regular menu.  What is wrong with people today?  To me this is just being polite to your fellow man.  When I go to Turkey they don't tell me to speak only Turkish!  America needs to wake up a little bit.  

And, the above can bring up the illegal immigrants etal problems.  I lived for 22 years in an agricultural community.  The irreplaceable Mexican migrant workers were a VITAL part of the community.  Without them, we wouldn't have all the produce/fruit on our tables.*  Fast forward to southern California....I live in south Orange county which does not have agriculture but we have vast areas of manicured landscaping, building industry and other businesses.  Most of these businesses are owned/managed by Mexican immigrants. And, they do a fabulous job.  Many of them have taught themselves English and have risen through the ranks to own their own businesses.  And, I am suppose to tell them to speak English only?  No way...  Which brings up another item; homeless camps.  Being from the Seattle area, Seattle has a huge homeless population.  Do you think these people in the homeless camps are Hispanic, Spanish speaking?  NO; they speak and look like me.  I really feel it's wrong when we attack a community of people different from us.  And by the way, in my own family are two naturalized US citizens whose primary language was not English. 

I guess to sum up my feeling, I don't like it when we judge or profile people who we may perceive are different from us.  It's happened to me in Egypt and here at church and it's not a good feeling.  Sorry for the rant on my part but sometimes I think I watch or read too much news :)

Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll be busy working on the lace border of my knitted shawl and I'll also hopefully have some exciting news to share with you soon....suspense; haha 

My best to you,


*It warms my heart when I read about Hispanic immigrant families who have attained their dreams here in America.  It warms my heart when I read about them graduating and attaining their goals here in their adopted country.  Because of their families sacrifice to move to a new country, their children are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, and scientists to name a few.  To me, that's what America is all about.   

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sadie's Knitted Dress With Pattern Link

Today my post is back to my normal mode of craftiness; that is if I do have a "normal mode" haha.  I have so enjoyed taking part in the Little Woollie Yarny Love Club. This past month I received in my yarn box five skeins of a lovely 100% organic cotton yarn.  I wanted to use the majority of the yarn in one project so I came up with the idea of making my little granddaughter a dress.

Here's Sadie's Swan Valley Dress made from 3 skeins of the cotton yarn.  The pattern and my project notes can be found here on my Ravelry page.  The pattern is written to knit flat from the hem up; knitting the front and then knitting the back and seaming the sides together.  I'm not fond of this idea so I knit the front bodice, followed by the left back and right back bodice.  I seamed these pieces together at the underarm and shoulder.

  Then I picked up stitches all around the waist and did a ribbed waistband, knitting in the round. I increased the stitches and continued to knit the skirt. I did a row of single crochet on the inside of the waistband so that the waist would keep it shape.  I did 5 single crochets for every 6 knitted stitches.

I added a little bit of embellishment for the neckline.

The original pattern called for a unique cast on starting from the hem up.  From the picture on Ravelry, it appears to curl up.  Since I didn't start from the hem up, I was able to do this picot hem edge which adds an extra bit of design to the dress.

Besides the wonderful yarn that was in my yarn club box, I also received some beautiful glass beads.  I incorporated these beads in the dress design by using them as buttons.

It was an enjoyable little project to knit and I enjoyed the details and design as I went along.  I'm not sure how the cotton yarn will stand up so I think it should be hand washed.  As for the Yarny Love Club, the Winter/Summer sign up is currently taking place.  Julie is the one who has Little Woollie and she is in Australia.  I loved being part of this yarn club and although I'm not signing up for the next segment, I do hope to participate again in the fall.  It has been delightful to see what goodies I receive each month.

If you have time, I'd love to hear about what you are currently working on.  Feel free to share a link in your comment.  I'm excited for the weekend as our very good friends are going to be in town for their son's graduation from UCLA law school.   I've known this couple for almost 41 years and my husband's connections goes back  to when he taught the gentleman at Cairo University in Egypt!  It was through this couple's family here in America where I met my husband.  It will be a fun time to reminisce and also celebrate this joyous occasion for their son's achievement.
 With my best wishes,

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Friends, Houses, and Mother's Day Tea

Hello my friends.  Can you believe that it's already May; time goes by so fast!  I had a great week here at Lilly my Cat.  I thought I'd share what has been going on...

We had some lovely new friends drop by this last weekend.  Actually, they have rented our new rental property and they were delightful to visit with.  They are a young couple with two perfectly behaved children.  It was nice that they wanted to sit and chat with us older people.  We hope to have them over this summer for a bar-b-que.  Question; are you like me and get nervous inviting children to your home and you don't know how the children will behave?  I remember years ago when I invited some guests over for a spaghetti dinner.  The three year old had that spaghetti all over the chair, table and everywhere else!  It was not pleasant. Since that time, I am a bit hesitant needless to say. . .

We just finished up with our real estate agent selling and purchasing our replacement rental properties.  And, now my husband wants to find a new home for us!  He wants an ocean view.  We've found a property that matches his wants but it's in need of a lot of repairs.  Right now we're not sure we want to go down this route.  It will depend on whether the seller accepts our offer.  Although the kitchen is dated, it has the original Thermodor oven and microwave and it looks brand new - from 1979!  But, it not the outdated items that are making us hesitant - it things like the roof, water damage, old windows and lots of other things.  We will wait and see what happens . . .

Sunday will be Mother's Day and my dear daughter is taking me to tea.  She loves to treat me to this special time together.  This year we are going to a new tea house that we haven't been to before.  My daughter spent two years living in England and loves all things British.  Above is the special breakfast she made for her family last weekend.  The mug on the right is the new Emma Bridgewater mug that I gave her commemorating the Queen's 90th birthday.

This past Sunday was Orthodox Pascha (Easter) and I didn't attend church services.  I did prepare a nice dinner on Sunday and my family came over to enjoy it.  The previous Sunday was Palm Sunday.  My husband and I attended services at the Coptic Church.  In fact, it was a four hour service and we left before it was over!  I have enjoyed going to the regular Sunday liturgy as it is in English/Arabic/Coptic.  But on Palm Sunday, the only thing in English was the sermon and one gospel reading.  Don't get me wrong, I am so happy that the congregants can gather together and worship.  But in the real context, the church is not the place for a non-Arabic speaker.  I couldn't understand a thing.  In theory, it works for me by reading, studying, and understanding the faith.  But in reality when I go to the church, it doesn't work.  But, after these past couple of years of struggling with my faith, I feel OK.  Things will be fine and I'm not going to spend more time thinking about what I should do.  Right now, I'm not going to do anything and see what happens. 

I love to be content like Lilly.  Contentment is a virtue.  If you read my blog, you know I don't like change.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I don't need to have things reinvented all the time.  In 40+ years of marriage I've lived in four homes.  And, I could have lived in each of them forever.  But, now I've realized (through the wisdom of you  my dear readers), that life does change regardless and I need to go with the flow.  I love my life and I'm not going to complain or waste good time thinking of what was and instead focus on what I have and be happy each day.

Thank you again for your kind comments and for taking the time to visit Lilly My Cat.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

With my best wishes,

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